Innovative and inclusive music and arts in Cumbria and NE

Music From The Wild

Music From The Wild

RURAL CREATORS: 18-25 year olds

In 2022, BlueJam supported 5 young music artists and one young producer from Cumbria to make their first EP and develop their careers in the music industry.

Our 6 rural creators (Asha Nicholson, Loki Thompson, Joe Steels, Josh Jackson, Joe Lush and Hazel Burrows) have benefitted from collaboration opportunities, access to industry mentors (many of whom have come through BlueJam themselves), funding, recording equipment, and technical workshops. The artists all released new music in an eclectic mix of genres including modern jazz, pop-punk, ambient folk, and techno.

This project has been lead by two young leaders: Asha Nicholson (25) and Josh Jackson (24), who have also taken part as participants. Mentors on the project have included Bryony Jarman-Pinto (signed with TruThoughts), Tom Leah (Werkha) (signed with OneWord) and Chris Bartholomew (theatre sound designer).

EP Launches – Gig at The Source Collective, Carlisle

On 26th November 2022 our rural creators came together and launched their EP’s collectively at The Source Collective in Carlisle. Everyone put so much energy into the project and it was a delight to share this music with a brilliant audience. Here are some videos and photos from the gig.

Promotional Videos – Creator EPs



Drawing inspiration from the Cumbrian landscape she inhabits, A-SHA blends shadows and song, acoustic and electronic, to create ethereal yet haunting compositions which have drawn comparisons to the likes Electronica alt-rockband Portishead, and the ambient folk of experimental musician Grouper. Her debut EP Lost my shoes – explores the longing for a sense of purpose greater than herself as the effect of COVID isolation lingers and mixes with thoughts of an unstable future.

Joe Lush

Joe Lush is an exciting new artist from the North of England. Inspired by artists such as; Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, Shawn James and The Jets. Incorporating catchy guitar riffs with a harsh sounding vocal melody. This new artist pushes the boundaries of indie, rock and folk as he begins the journey of writing and releasing his first EP.

Hazel Burrow

Hazel Burrow is a Cumbrian composer/saxophonist who explores how music can be used as a way to understand the world around her. Her debut EP Realisations takes us through her steps to finding confidence after lockdown through self- reflection and spending time with friends. With these instrumental songs which contain traits of folk, electronic and jazz, Hazel offers a sense of self-acceptance to those who have experienced similar feelings.

The Groove Shaman

The Groove Shaman finds it amazing that you can design any sound that you want, make any atmosphere that you want, all through the magic of mathematics. They are addicted to experimentation but stay close to the music that got them moving – house and techno. Coming from a folk and classical violin background, they have love for a simple footstomper as much as for a mindbending epic.

Josh Jackson

Josh Jackson is a producer, musician and has produced and written with a number of acclaimed Cumbrian artists including Melanie Baker, JP Worsfold, Fiona Clayton and Ella Jarman-Pinto. Starting out as a musician primarily, Josh found that what he enjoyed most was bringing out the best in other people’s music and helping them realise their artistic vision. This spurred him on to set up a studio in his hometown of Penrith. He is often referred to as the ‘Jack Antonoff of Cumbria’ by his clients.

Joe Steels

Re-emerge is a contemporary music project led by emerging jazz guitarist Joe Steels, who graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire in 2019. These original compositions were written during the lockdown, living in Cumbria and Northumberland, channelling the beauty of these landscapes with melodious improvisation. The project brings together musicians from across these regions. The pieces fuse elements of folk and contemporary jazz, taking inspiration from British musicians such as Mike Walker and Nikki Iles. The collective are recording in December, with the album being released in May ‘23.

This project has been supported through Youth Music’s Incubator Fund thanks to funding from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.